How To Measure Kitchen Cabinets

Any form of remodeling requires you to analyze each aspect of the space in question. This includes the color theme, floor planning, brightness, and most importantly, measurements.

Accurate measurements enable you to get the right fittings for doors, windows, curtains, wall hangings, and even kitchen cabinets.

A step-by-step process using a tape measure, calculator, level ruler, and something to write on can help you measure kitchen cabinets accurately.

Here is why measuring your kitchen cabinets is essential and how you can do it.

Why Do You Need to Measure a Kitchen Cabinet

Sketching out your floor plan makes the design process faster as well as smoother. Actual measurements give you all the information you or your renovator needs.

This applies to your bathroom, living room, bedroom, and specifically your kitchen.

As a central feature of the kitchen, the cabinets create the overall look of the space. They can make your kitchen look bigger, brighter, more open, and modern.

On the other hand, ill-fitted cabinets can create a tardy, unsightly appearance.

Most homeowners look online for pictures of samples when they are remodeling their homes.

You might find something that piques your interest, but before you buy it, you need to know if it’s the right fit. Many online products and samples provide their measurements for your ease.

Taking accurate and complete measurements is the only way to know if they are right for your kitchen.

The process of ordering and installing the ready-to assemble (RTA) kitchen cabinets is more straightforward when you have proper measurements.

Alternatively, if you wish to reconstruct your cabinets or have a custom cabinet built, accurate measurements become even more essential.

They act as a guide for your interior designer or renovator to work with. It makes it easier for them to come up with a design that fits in your kitchen.

Most manufacturers follow standard dimensions for semi-custom or stock cabinets.

They also come in an impressive variety of stock sizes, with accessories and fillers to cover up odd spaces.

However, measuring your kitchen cabinets helps you get the best option for your unique requirements.

Lastly, knowing your kitchen cabinet measurements help you determine a budget for your kitchen’s renovation. This can save you a lot of money that you can use to renovate other house areas.

How To Measure Kitchen Cabinets

Measuring your kitchen cabinets is not a difficult task, but it does require a few steps. Remember to keep all your measurements in inches.

Here are some of the things you might need for your measurements:

  • Tape measure
  • Step stool or ladder
  • Pencil
  • Notepad
  • Planning grid or scratch paper
  • Calculator
  • Level ruler

Measuring Your Kitchen

The first step is to measure your kitchen itself. This will help you know how much space you have to work with and which cabinets you can install.

Here is how you can draw out your kitchen’s floorplan.

  1. You can start by drawing a rough sketch. The room might be a U or L shape and may have an island peninsula in the center.
  2. Measure the room from wall to wall, and note down the value on your notepad. This will give you the size of the kitchen.
  3. Measure along the walls, windows, and doors. Use the outsides of the trim as your marker for windows or doors.
  4. Keep taking these measurements, which will divide your wall into sections. You can tally with the overall wall length to know whether the measurements are correct.
  5. Take vertical measurements of kitchen walls, the space from the window sill to the floor, and from the bottom of the cabinets to the counter.
  6. Measure the distance from the floor to the top of your countertops. This will help ensure that each surface is at the same level.
  7. Draw in any appliances as a rectangle box, i.e., refrigerator, oven, freezer, etc.
  8. Include any fixtures, wirings, electrical supplies, or air vents in your sketch. This could save you from having to refit the entire cabinet to make room for them.
  9. Note where your light fixtures are, as you don’t want cabinets to reduce the room’s brightness by blocking the light.

Measuring the Cabinets

Once again, keeping all measurements in inches, you can begin measuring your existing kitchen cabinets.

This will provide a standard size if you are looking to buy ready to assemble (RTA) kitchen cabinets.

Here is how you can measure your cabinets, whether base cabinets, tall cabinets, or wall cabinets.

  1. Measure the width of the cabinet, i.e., the space between the hinges. This will determine how many units can fit in your area.
  2. Measure the cabinet’s depth, i.e., the space from the door to the back of the cabinet.
  3. Measure the cabinet’s heights, i.e., from the base to the top of each section or shelf.
  4. Measure the height of the cabinet from the kitchen countertop to its base.
  5. Measure the space between your ceiling and the top of the cabinet.
  6. You should account for wall corners, particularly if you want corner cabinets. Square corners make fittings easy, but unevenness can be corrected with shims.
  7. To check the squareness, measure 3 feet out from the corner of one wall and mark it. Next, measure 4 feet from the adjacent wall and mark it. The distance between them should be 5 feet to indicate a square corner.
  8. Consider any wirings or switchboards inside the cabinets as they might need to be adjusted.

You might need two to three different drawings in order to paint an accurate picture. Remember to double-check your measurements for accuracy.

Although it seems tedious, it will save you a lot of money, time, and effort in the long run.

Choosing Your Kitchen Cabinets

Your wall length can help you determine which kinds of cabinets will suit your kitchen.

You could opt for a single door or double door cabinet or a combination of both. Similarly, corner cabinets are something to consider.

Base cabinets are those which are installed directly on the floor. They can act as your countertop or as a peninsula island.

They must accommodate your sink, oven, dishwasher, and other appliances. The countertop itself usually overlaps the base cabinets at the front.

They may also require adjustments for drawers or pull-out shelves.

Wall cabinets are primarily used for storage and are attached to the wall studs with screws.

They come in many designs, acting as a showpiece for the kitchen. Many people have in-cabinet lighting or glass inserts. They come above the countertop and below the cleaning.

Tall cabinets or pantry cabinets are present in most kitchens for storage purposes.

Many extend from floor to ceiling, providing enough space to store essentials such as brooms, mops, appliances, and other accessories.

You have the liberty to choose the number of shelves you want to be inserted in each cabinet. This will vary according to the purpose you are using the cabinet for.

Many have adjustable levels to make them convenient for multi-purpose use.

Since you have all the measurements you need, you can use a combination of these three types of cabinets. Once the fittings are approved, you can move onto their designs and construction.


Using a rough estimate can end up with your island cabinets being too close to the wall or having doors that bump into the cabinet doors.

In some cases, your kitchen might not comply with building codes. This can make it harder for you to sell your house if the need arises.

In order to avoid such nuisances, you should take careful measurements and draw a preliminary floor plan.

They will give you a clearer idea of the space you have to work with. Finally, knowing how to measure kitchen cabinets beforehand can save you the trouble of having them refitted or redesigned.

Other articles you may also like: